Certified nursing assistants play an important role in the healthcare field. CNAs work in a variety of settings, including physicians offices, hospitals and long term care facilities. They perform tasks such as taking vital signs, feeding patients and assisting with activities like bathing and dressing. Some certified nursing assistants work as private caregivers in the home. Most CNAs work under the direct supervision of Licensed Practical Nurses or Registered Nurses.
CNA certification can usually be achieved within six months in most states. Once the program is completed, the graduate must take a CNA certification exam to use the title Certified Nursing Assistant. A CNA certification course includes subject matter related to the job, including oral and written communication skill and basic nursing care techniques. Many who aspire to become nurses obtain CNA certification so that they can work in a health care setting while they earn the nursing credential.
Determining how to find the best CNA programs can be overwhelming with so many options available. CNA programs are available in every state. Programs cover the same subject matter, but the length may vary by a few weeks. In urban areas where there are lots of opportunities for clinical experience, a CNA graduate may be better prepared to work in a variety of settings. Individual preferences will determine what one looks for in a CNA program.
The best program depends on individual needs. The first step in finding the best CNA program is to determine what programs exist and where they are located. Other issues that influence program choices include cost, distance from home and the reputation of the program. Community colleges usually offer strong CNA training programs. The standard course of study is consistent within community college systems. Many hospitals and long-term care facilities offer CNA training programs. The core information that a CNA students needs to know is covered, however the student will also learn the policies and procedures of the specific facility sponsoring the training.
Technology has made it possible to earn the CNA credential online, however the student will still need to meet the requirements necessary to sit for the CNA exam in his or her state. This means arranging for hands-on clinical experiences and meeting other conditions.
It is wise to talk with those who employ CNAs about what they look for in a candidate. A question that should be asked is “which educational programs provide the best prepared CNAs?” This speaks to the reputation and rigor of the CNA training. A similar question that might be asked of a nursing director or supervisor is “which CNA program would you recommend if you were advising an individual seeking CNA training?
Cost may be a factor in selecting a CNA program. Facilities that sponsor their own programs may offer training at no charge if candidates commit to working in those settings for a specified period of time.